Best Jukebox - 2004
There's a Smithsonian quality to the Lion's Lair juke, a beat-up old box that houses a carefully curated collection of rock-and-roll historica: Start with Hank Williams Sr. or Muddy Waters and work your way forward through the last fifty years, stopping at every major genre along the way, from Motown and soul (Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, Curtis Mayfield) to British new wave (the Jam, Graham Parker). Punch in the right numbers and you'll get arty, anarchic cool (the Stooges, Patti Smith), iconic (Dylan, Springsteen) or a combination of more random elements. (Sweet? The Grass Roots? Garland Jeffreys? Who picks this stuff?) The Lair is the only place in town where it seems totally natural to find the Kinks, Jonathan Richman, the La's and the Smiths next to Iron Maiden, Merle Haggard, the White Stripes and the Dead Kennedys. Grab a dollar; free your mind.